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Christ as the Man of Sorrows

Petrus Christus

Christ as the Man of Sorrows
4 0 c m
actual image size: 22cm x 29cm


This tiny panel would have been used to aid private prayer and meditation on the suffering of Christ for the sake of mankind. The small scale emphasises the private nature of this personal devotional object. This is one of only three works by the artist in Britain.

The anguished face of the bearded Christ gazes outward as his naked and wounded torso appears to float towards us. He is both Christ as Man of Sorrows and Christ as Judge. To either side stand mourning angels bearing the sword of judgement and the lilies of mercy reminding the devout that they will not escape the Day of Judgement. It is painted with a precise technique recalling manuscript illumination; its colours and light effects glowing with a jewel-like intensity.

Image Details

11.2cm x 8.5cm
oil on panel
Gift in 1935
Accession Number

© Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

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